Westminster Difference: Biblical & Systematic Theology

September 09, 2010

...everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled...repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations,...You are witnesses of these things
Luke 24:44-48 (ESV)

The Westminster Biblical and Systematic theology departments are dedicated to forming Christian leaders to proclaim the whole counsel of God throughout a changing world. The Old Testament department is committed to teaching the first thirty-nine books of the Bible, with all the aspects entailed, as the anticipation of the glorious climactic fulfillment of redemption in Jesus Christ.  The New Testament department is committed to teaching the New Testament as the full revelation of the covenant of God’s grace in Jesus Christ.  The Systematics department seeks rightly to divide the Word of truth, particularly the holy Scriptures.

"There are those who apparently think that it is possible to approach the Bible with a neutral attitude.  Their position seems to be, 'Let us study Scripture as we would any other book. Let us subject it to the same tests as we do other writings.  If it proves to be the Word of God, well and good, but, if not, let us accept the fact.'...The so-called neutral attitude towards the Bible is in reality not neutral at all, for it begins by rejecting the lofty claims of divinity which the Bible makes, and it assumes that the human mind of itself can act as judge of divine revelation"

Rev. Dr. Edward J. Young, An Introduction to the Old Testament, pp. 26-27

An Excerpt from The Temple and the Church's Mission by Dr. Gregory Beale

The New Testament pictures Christ and the church as finally having done what Adam, Noah and Israel had failed to do in extending the temple of God's presence throughout the world.  Luke 2:32 and Acts 26:23 picture Christ as fulfilling this commission to be a 'light' to the end of the earth (an allusion to the Servant Israel's commission in Is. 49:6).  This is why Matthew 28:18 portrays Jesus as the Son of Man, saying 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.'  This is an allusion to the prophecy of Daniel 7:13-14, where it is said of the 'Son of Man', 'authority was given to him, and all the nations of the earth...(were) serving him.' (so LXX).  On the basis of this authority, Jesus then gives the well-known commission 'therefore, as you go, disciple all the nation, baptizing them...teaching them to keep all things whichsoever I commanded you; and, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the age.'  Notice that Christ uses the same accompaniment as God used with the commissioning of his people in the Old Testament to subdue and rule over the earth.  His presence will enable them to fulfill 'the great commission' to rule over and fill the earth with God's presence, which Adam, Noah, and Israel had failed to carry out

In this respect, as we will see more clearly in the following section of this chapter, Jesus is a Last Adam figure, and this is partly why he implicitly identifies himself with Daniel's 'Son of Man' in issuing the universal commission to his followers: he is the 'son of Adam', the equivalent to Daniel's 'Son of Man', finally accomplishing what the first Adam should have and what Daniel predicts the messianic end-time Adam will do.

Dr. Vern Poythress, professor of New Testament TheologyFor more, see COMPLETE Westminster Admissions Booklet

To learn how to become a student at Westminster, click here.

Professor Fantuzzo